The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 75/No. 39      October 31, 2011

White House sends special forces
to 4 countries in Central Africa
(front page)
President Barack Obama announced October 14 the sending of some 100 “combat-equipped” troops to Central Africa. The move is but the latest by Washington in a concerted effort to strengthen U.S. imperialism’s influence in the continent.

The soldiers “are primarily special operations forces,” reported the American Forces Press Service.

The military action will target the Lord’s Resistance Army, described in the U.S. press as a persistent group of armed bandits operating in Uganda and the surrounding region since the 1990s. U.S. forces will operate in Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in joint operations with military forces from regimes in those countries, helping to cement relations between them and Washington.

The deployment is necessary, Obama wrote to Congress, because “regional military efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in removing LRA leader Joseph Kony or his top commanders from the battlefield.”

Obama signed legislation last summer pledging to assist its African allies in the campaign, which has wide bipartisan backing.

Since 2008 Washington has provided $33 million in military aid to back the Ugandan government in combating the LRA, according to Pentagon Press Secretary George Little. Training also included a light infantry brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The troop deployment to Central Africa comes as Washington has been expanding its foothold in Africa, strengthening the offensive military operations of the U.S. Africa Command during NATO’s bombardment of Libya. U.S. aerial armed drones have conducted assaults in Libya and Somalia. A drone base is also being reopened on the island of Seychelles off the coast of East Africa, with another in operation in Djibouti on the northern part of the continent.

“There are about 200 U.S. trainers in Kenya and Ethiopia, and about 3,500 troops conducting missions in Djibouti,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Africa Command has 13 major joint exercises involving troops from nations throughout the continent planned for 2011, according to the command’s website. Among the locations are Morocco, Gambia, Senegal, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Gulf of Guinea and South Africa.

The continent is quickly becoming the most important source of hydrocarbons and other fuel for the U.S. and represents a key battleground in the competition for resources and markets between Washington and rival powers in Europe and Asia, particularly Beijing.  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home